25 November 2016
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817) and Rep. France L. Castro (09209698457)
ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, with the broad alliance of teachers, students and educators under the Education Sector Against the Revival of the Marcoses join the nationwide Black Friday Protest at Rizal Park to strongly condemn the recent hero’s burial of Marcos and to denounce the blatant historical revisionism.
“The education sector cannot ignore the historical revisionism happening right now. The decision overturned history as it declared that Marcos deserves a hero’s burial when in fact history already judged him as a plunderer, murderer, fascist, and criminal,” Tinio stressed.
“The Marcoses have several sins to the people especially to the education sector. Most of the problems faced by schools such as low budgets, lack of facilities, large class sizes, and other perennial problems were brought by Marcos or worsened during his reign, so we cannot condone the rehabilitation of his image nor that of his family. Until now, we are still paying the foreign debts,” Castro said.
The solons cited the Education Act which Marcos enacted in 1982. “This law started the privatization in the education sector and subjected the youth’s right to profit-orientation,” Castro added.
Citing a study of independent think tank Ibon, Tinio recalled that Marcos bloated foreign debt nearly 30 times from $1 billion in 1966 to $28 billion in 1986, trapping the country into a cycle of growing debts. Filipinos will be paying for Marcos debts alone until 2025.
The Marcos regime plundered $5 to $10 billion of ill-gotten wealth. The PCGG recovered only $4.2 billion. “This money came from the people, could be used by the people,” said the solon. “It can fund a lot for social services including education, minimize if not remove shortages in our schools but until now the Marcoses are intentionally keeping the ill-gotten wealth.”
The foreign debts that mostly were plundered by the Marcoses resulted to compounded problems in terms of finances. Because of it, every administration after Marcos up to President Duterte had been prioritizing the debt servicing rather than allocating the highest budget to the education as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.
“The low allocation of budget to education resulted to perennial problems such as huge class sizes, shortages, freezed salary increase and other issues that has an impact to the quality of education we have. Even the materials of teachers such as chalk and other instructional materials came from their pockets. The underfunding is the continuing result of the debts incurred and it will greatly affect our salaries and benefits,” Tinio added.
“For us, all our teachers and students, even those who were not yet born then, are victims of Marcos and Martial Law, because until now we are experiencing the emerging problems created then. So we encourage every teacher, student, and educator to condemn in all possible ways the recognition of Marcos as a hero and the blatant revision of history,” Tinio said. ###